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An incredible stolen Mac story without a final chapter

Update 2:30p ET 9/1: We've heard more from the theft victim; see the latest news on this crime story here.

We're getting our share of crime stories lately, and today's is really a jaw dropper. I'm going to be sketchy on details and locations because there is an investigation underway.

Here's what we have so far. An East Coast man had his house broken into with 2 Macs and one PC stolen, along with some other household items of value.

One of the Macs was a laptop, and our victim bought a new MacBook Pro to replace it, and used a Time Machine backup to restore all his files. The crime was reported to police, who said they had no leads, but there had been a string of similar burglaries in the area for quite some time.

When our victim (we'll call him Jim) sat down at his replacement laptop last night, he saw one of his missing computers come up as a share via the Back to My Mac feature of MobileMe. He clicked on the share, and explored the files of his stolen machine. You can guess what comes next. Taking a chance, he clicked on screen sharing, and saw that someone was using his Mac, checking lottery numbers on a web page.

Jim didn't want to take control of the Mac, so he just watched, fascinated. Later, when activity on his missing computer stopped, he went to the network panel and grabbed an IP address, and took a screen shot of it.

This morning, he saw someone applying for a job online using the stolen laptop, and Jim now has the Social Security number, address and phone number used on the job application. Jim speculates it is possible the machine has been sold to someone and that is who was applying for the job. Or it could still be with the crooks.

He's contacted the police, and we don't know how this saga ends yet, but we'll let you know how it all works out. So far we've got a pretty smart victim and some really dumb crooks. Jim says he is sure he'll be renewing MobileMe when it's time.

Details at 11.

[Thanks to 'Jim' for sharing his experience with all of us]

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